Healthy connectedness is the context of leadership. That said, the foundation of leadership is integrity. You can’t effectively lead without walking your talk.
Your people are watching you every day. What you do is so much more important than what you say. Your people want to know what really matters to you. What are your passions? What are your fears? What keeps you up at night?
You can’t lead from a distance. In fact, strong leadership requires a transparency that can be quite disarming to many. If you think you can fake it, you are only fooling yourself. Over time everyone will come to see that which is so about you.
Integrity is about being whole. Wholeness is the opposite of being split, double-minded or wishy-washy. Integrity requires clarity about where you are going; regardless of who follows. It requires a commitment to set an example by not expecting others to do what you are not willing to do. It requires the courage to lead from the front, to be the one who has the most skin in the game and the most to lose if things don’t work out.
The greater your integrity, the more you are believable. And, your believability is everything. People will follow only to the extent you are believable.
Are you willing to increase your integrity in order to lead more powerfully? If so, consider that you might be a stronger leader if:
- Your bonus is the first to disappear in a bad year.
- You ate with your employees rather than going out to a restaurant for lunch.
- You give up the executive washroom to demonstrate you solidarity with your people.
- You speak from your heart when you set your vision for the year.
- You spent time circulating through the company, talking to all of your employees about their jobs and the importance of their contribution.
Lead with integrity. It will make a huge difference.